Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish wants Stephen Ireland to start generating headlines on the field rather than off it.

City midfielder has yet to produce his best form since moving from Manchester City 18 months ago, and courted negative headlines this week when his girlfriend posted a picture of him on the internet apparently puffing on a hookah pipe.

McLeish will keep his thoughts on the incident private between himself and the player, although he admitted: "You don't want to be bringing attention to yourself".

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